Rarotonga activity highlights and popular things to do. Rarotonga offers visitors the chance to relax and enjoy the sort of white, sandy beaches and clear, tranquil lagoons that dreams are made of. Popular Rarotonga activities include swimming, snorkeling, diving, fishing, whale-watching, cycling, walking, sailing, shopping and, of course, relaxing!

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Rarotonga, Cook IslandsRarotonga - Activity Highlights

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Rarotonga offer visitors the chance to relax and enjoy the sort of white, sandy beaches and clear, tranquil lagoons that dreams are made of.

Rarotonga Activity Highlights Overview

Image Source: bugbog.com Dance show on Rarotonga
Dance show on Rarotonga
©bugbog.com
www.bugbog.com

Activities on Rarotonga can be as relaxed or as energetic as you choose, but it’s always worth remembering that in ‘island time’ nothing is done to the minute. If you’re watching the clock and trying to rush around, you may miss out on enjoying the ‘island’ appeal of Rarotonga.

So take it easy and take your time to enjoy glorious beaches, tranquil lagoons, tropical forests and beautiful mountains. Even in Avarua, the commercial centre of the Cook Islands on Rarotonga, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly.

Rarotonga popular activities include swimming, snorkeling, diving, fishing, whale-watching, cycling, walking, sailing, shopping and, of course, relaxing!

Activities on Rarotonga

There is a host of activities to enjoy on Rarotonga. Tours or activities can be either pre-booked or easily arranged (through your accommodation provider if you wish) when you arrive. Choose from:

Water Sports

With warm water and excellent visibility (30 metres) all year round, swimming, snorkelling and diving from Rarotonga should almost be mandatory for visitors. The colourful reefs and calm water of lagoons like Titikaveka are safe for children to explore, although care should be taken on corals, which can cause injury if stood on.

Reef shoes are a good investment and children should not touch coral or marine life.

Some of the best dive sites include: Matavera Drop-off, Ngatangiia Swimthroughs, Koromiri Coral Garden, Mataora Wreck, Papua Canyon and Sand River.

Whale Watching

The Cook Islands created a whale sanctuary in 2001 and from July to October, humpback whales move into inshore reefs and can be seen from the beaches. Whale watching boat tours are available from tour operators on Rarotonga and Aitu and snorkelling with whales is also possible.

Cycling

Cycling is a great way to get around the islands as they are so small. Bikes can be hired quite cheaply on Rarotonga and Aitutaki and at leisurely pace; it takes about 2 hours to cycle around Rarotonga.

Wind Surfing, Sail Surfing

At the popular Muri lagoon on the south-east side of Rarotonga, you can enjoy not only the 8km stretch of white sandy beach, but you can also get tuition in sailing catamarans and wind surfing.

Fishing

Game fishing trips (lasting on average about 5 hours) are usually available and fly and bait fishing is particularly good at Aitutaki’s lagoon.

Walking, Jogging

With no snakes, poisonous insects of wild animals to worry about, hiking through the lush jungle in the inland area of Rarotonga can be safely enjoyed.

Thirteen marked trails make exploring easy for all ages and fitness levels. Pack sturdy walking shoes or trainers.

Popular trails include:

  • Cross Island Trek (four to five hours)
  • Pa’s Mountain Walk (four to five hours)
  • Te Kou Trek (five hours)
  • Ikurangi Trek (four hours for experienced climbers only)

Horse Riding

Even if you’ve never been on a horse before, you can enjoy a relaxed pony trek on Rarotonga as the chances are that the horses are as relaxed and friendly as the people! A two hour trek in a small group through the tropical plantations to Wigmore’s Waterfall for a swim to easy any tender body parts is an ideal way to get started.

Island Hopping

Air Rarotonga flies regularly between the islands including Aitutaki (50 minutes from Rarotonga), Atiu (45 minutes from Rarotonga), Mauke (50 minutes from Rarotonga) and Mitiaro (50 minutes from Rarotonga). A discount for flying to three destinations within 30 days is available. The other islands can be visited by boat, but services are limited.

Island Night, Dance

Attend an island night and enjoy the joyous islander culture of song and dance. If you’re visiting during the third week of April, you can enjoy more dance at Island Dance Festival Week.

Shopping

In Avarau (Rarotonga), you can shop for black pearls, sample tropical fruit and shop for souvenirs, clothes and jewellery at the bustling outdoor Saturday market, Punang Nui.

Golf, tennis and squash are also available—that’s if you have time!

Useful Rarotonga Links

To help plan your Rarotonga holiday choose from the categories below:

Cook Islands & Rarotonga Information

Cook Islands & Rarotonga Tourism Operators

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